Australia’s federal government will provide $3 million to fund research into how medical cannabis can help cancer patients.
Health Minister Greg Hunt made the announcement Oct. 6 alongside Olivia Newton-John, who is in Melbourne for her Wellness Walk and Research Run. Hunt indicated that more than 11,000 Australians have been approved to use medical cannabis to date, according to a news.com.au report. Eighty Australian companies have been licensed to cultivate cannabis, the news outlet reported.
Newton-John told the Sunday Herald Sun that she hopes Australia can “become the epicenter of cannabis research.”
“They’ve discovered it hasn’t caused all the problems that people are afraid of,” she said at the annual Wellness Walk and Research Run. “It’s helped me incredibly, with pain, with sleep, with anxiety, particularly when I had to wean myself off morphine.”
Australia’s capital city, Canberra, became the first part of the country to legalize adult-use cannabis possession and cultivation last month. The new law applies to adults 18 and older and goes into effect Jan. 31, 2020.